07/12/2018: Last night I received a letter from Department of Child Support Services (DCSS) informing me that they are stopping their services because my son’s biological father (we will call him John Doe) is dead. DCSS had been trying to locate him since 2008 in order to collect child support. DCSS is closing the case, which is why I got the notification. John was in arrears to the point where his driver’s license was suspended. John was also an alcoholic.
So, today when I woke up I immediately went to DCSS, they gave me most of the necessary paperwork I needed. Then I was off to Vital Records office to get a certified copy of the death certificate.
I got the copy, and found out the why. He took his own life. This made it weird on myself because I hadn’t seen nor spoken to him since 2010 when the Judge awarded me sole custody of my son. He never showed up to his scheduled visitation. Not only that but suicide was the last thing I would have thought of. My first thought that he was drunk driving and got into a traffic accident, which killed him. I thought John might have died due to issues from his drinking, but not suicide. That was a shock to the system.
The hardest thing I ever had to do was tell my son his biological father is dead. I never told him why. My son did talk to me about it and he admitted that he is a little sad. He also told me that he feels abandoned by his father. I never told my son how his father died, just that he died last month. When he’s older, maybe I’ll tell him, but now……he’s too young to know how his father died. I’m really glad my son never asked me how either.
I feel sadness for John’s mother. I have a gut reading (from reading the entire death certificate) that she is the one who found him. I know first hand how a suicide can tear a family apart (I lost two of my cousins, whom I was close to; to suicide) and ripe your heart out. I cannot imagine what she must be going through because it is her first born, and her son. She lost her only daughter back in 2009. I am unsure the cause of her (we will call her Jane Doe) death, but I suspect it might have been pneumonia (due to her symptoms that John and his mom told me).
I feel even more sadness for my son. My son no longer has the opportunity to maybe later on down the road locate, and possible maybe get to know John. I also realized that I have absolutely no pictures of John for my son to have.
I do not know why John decided to take his own life, however, based on what I knew back in 2010, I figured out the reason(s) why. John is an alcoholic which is one contributing factor. His alcoholism more than likely lead him to severe depression. John was also anti-social, he had no friends (all of which is true when we were together and after I left him), he was abusive (physical and mentally) toward his own family on a daily basis (from what I witnessed), and he was also in a lot of financial trouble. John more than likely felt that there was no way out and was unable to see any light at the end of the tunnel. He also felt like he was burden on society and the world would be better off without him (he told me this numerous times after I left him, and while we were in court for custody and visitation over my son). I didn’t think anything of it, because he always said it when things didn’t go his way in court. I figured it was just a guilt trip he’d try to pull.
It was obvious I missed the signs that he displayed after I left him. Take the signs seriously. If you know anyone who is thinking about suicide and/or displays any signs of thinking about suicide, be there for them to talk to. Also, the number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255 available 24 hours everyday.